MTN boosts Zambian football
By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia
Mobile service provider MTN Zambia will this year provide K2.4 billion on the sponsorship of the Zambia national soccer team and the 16 teams in the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Super Division.
MTN brands and communication manager Leonard Kawanu announced the package at a press briefing at Football House in Lusaka yesterday.
The Super Division champions will get K250 million, runners-up K100 million, footballer-of-the-year K25 million, top scorer K20 million, most disciplined player K15 million and K20 million for the coach-of-the-year.
The Young Player of the Year and the Referee of the Year will receive K15 million each.
Kawanu said K700 million will be disbursed to Super Division teams while K500 million will be paid to FAZ for administrative purposes.
Kawanu said Super Division teams excluding the champions and runners-up will share K250 million according to league standings among other beneficiaries.
MTN Zambia hopes the sponsorship will motivate Super Division teams to play competitive football that will allow player to break into the international football.
“We would like to see a situation where players from the local league begin to break ground and launch onto the international market and this will only happen if they are motivated enough to play competitively,” Kawanu said. He said there was need to invest more in sports for the country to win major competitions.
The company pledged its commitment to supporting football in Zambia as demonstrated by the fact that this year alone the company will be spending K2.4 billion on the national soccer team and Super Division.
But FAZ vice-president Boniface Mwamelo has appealed to MTN to consider revising the sponsorship package for next season.
Mwamelo said: “I know when the memorandum of understanding was signed last year, Zambia was just another team but now that we are African champions, there is need for MTN to revise the sponsorship to reflect our status.”
MTN and FAZ last year signed a lucrative K7 billion sponsorship deal for the Zambia National Soccer team and Super Division.